December 06, 2019

Rule the Waves 2 Game 1 - November 1915


The war with Italy drags on. We continue to blockade their coast, but they are so far defiant. The good news is that we have recently commissioned the Rouens and laid down the new Saint Louis class battleships, as well as receiving the first seaplane carriers anywhere in the world. We have also begun to build a land-based air force, which will help our forces find and destroy the Italian fleet soon enough.

Tensions with Germany remain very high, but we have done what we can to avoid war, so far successfully. The Italian fleet has refused to come out, but we have sunk several of their raiders. We are considering threatening Sicily in the hopes that the Mafia will intervene and force the Italian government to come to terms.

Our current fleet

Ships under construction

Our current airplanes. The LeO.40 is being replaced by the LeO.48.

The current air groups

Forts and air bases

May 1915

Design work begins on BB Saint Louis. CLs Protet and Catinat are commissioned. BC Lyon delayed one month to allow fitting of better fire control. Breakthroughs: Circulation augmenter, X-Lighters. Italian DD Artigliere sunk by a mine. Enemy subs sink 4 merchant ships, our sink 2. 230 VP for blockade. Germany lays down 2 KE, Italy lays down 3 KE. Italy commissions 8 KE, Germany 1 BC.

The Italian Navy declines a cruiser action off Brittany, giving us 675 VP. (To the Admiralty: SEND SOME SHIPS TO GIBRALTAR.) Instead, CA Chanzy intercepts an Italian raider in the Eastern Med. The CA intercepts an old CL, and eventually brings it into range. After several hours of long-range pounding, the CL escapes due to its superior speed. Marginal victory, 63 VP for us, 0 VP for them.

June 1915

BC Rouen delayed one month to allow fitting of better fire control. Breakthroughs: Improved face hardening, Seaplane scouts. SSC Coulomb torpedoes and damages an Italian BB, but another SSC is sunk by an Italian AMC. We sink one of their subs as well, and both side's subs sink a pair of merchants. Their surface raiders sink 5 merchant ships, too. Germany lays down 3 DD, AH 1 BB, Italy 2 AMC and 1 KE, Japan 1 CL, US 2 DD. Germany commissions 1 BB. 240 VP for blockade.

Convoy defense off Norway, which the Italians decline again, for 750 VP. (GIBRALTAR!) Instead, we get an interception near Gibraltar with CLs Du Chayla and Linois (an unmodernized Sfax), a truly odd pairing. The ships exchange fire before darkness falls and the Italian CL escapes. The battle is essentially a draw, with 0 VP for us and 18 VP for them.

July 1915

Construction begins on airbases at Saint Florent (Corsica), Brest and Dunkerque. We commission 2 SSC. Breakthrough: Improved gyroscope. New Gun: 11"(+1) We agree to buy the Potez 45 fighter, produced as a private venture. We sink an enemy merchant submarine, while our subs sink one of their freighters. Our anti-raider patrols prove effective, and no ships are sunk at all. Germany lays down a KE and BC, Italy an AV and 3 KE, Japan a BB, the US a BB and 4 DD. AH commissions a DD, Italy 1 BC, 1 KE, 1 AMC, the US 1 BC. 210 VP for blockade.

CA Chanzy intercepts another Italian raider, this one near Gibraltar. It turns out to be an Italian CA, and the two ships quickly begin to trade fire. We gain the upper hand, but darkness falls, and we briefly lose contact with them before reestablishing it at close range. The enemy ship is torpedoed and goes down. Major victory, 627 VP for us, 30 VP for them.

August 1915

We complete construction of our airbases in France. BC Lyon commissions, but is found to have trouble reaching her design speed. Breakthrough: Enhanced high explosive filler. The Liore et Olivier LeO.48 is selected as our new floatplane scout. Our subs sink 3 enemy merchants, while their surface raiders get a pair of our ships. The disruption of the blockade is causing unrest in Italy. Germany lays down 2 DD, as does the US. Italy lays down 3 KE, and commissions 1 KE. Japan commissions BC. 220 VP for blockade. BB Saint Louis is updated with latest machinery and armor, giving slightly more reserve weight. Flying boat squadrons created at Dunkerque and Brest.

Italy declines to attack a major convoy near Sardinia, giving us 7750 VP. Instead, CL Linois intercepts a raider in the eastern Med. Unfortunately, it's a CL, who escapes the slow Sfax. The battle is a draw, with no VP for either side.

September 1915

BC Rouen and 1 SSC commission. The Potez 45 enters service. Both side's subs stay in port, but their raiders get 5 of our merchants. BBs Saint Louis and Charlemagne are laid down. Germany lays down 2 KE and 1 DD, US lays down 4 DD, Italy lays down 1 AV, Japan lays down 1 CL. Germany commissions 3 KE, UK commissions 1 BC, 2 CL. Italy commissions 1 AMC, 2 KE. US commissions 1 BB, 1 CL. 240 VP for blockade of the enemy, and we are getting rumors of war-weariness among them. Construction of an airbase at Tunis begins. CL Linois is converted to an AV, to stop it slowing down raider interceptions.

Italy declines a fleet battle in the Straits of Sicily, giving us 1650 VP. Instead, CL Linois, now paired with CL Protet, intercepts a raider. It turns out to be an AMC, which is swiftly sunk. 274 VP for us, 0 VP for them.

October 1915

Construction of our airbase in Corsica completes. 3 DDs and 1 SSC commission. AVs Galilee and Cosmao finish their reconstructions. Breakthrough: Diesel generators. Our new LeO.48 floatplanes are ready for operational service. Our subs bag one ship, but their raiders get 9 somehow. 250 VP for blockade. Germany lays down 2 KE, 2 DD. Japan lays down 1 CL, US 1 BC and 2 DD. Germany commissions 1 KE.

Italy declines a cruiser battle, giving us another 3840 VP, and we instead pounce on a convoy near Sicily with 2 BBs and screen. Unfortunately, we don't make contact, and despite them losing one destroyer to unknown threats, they end up winning, 747 VP to 234.

March 1916


We are victorious against Italy once again! Our latest war has been concluded in a satisfactory manner, and even Germany, seeing our strength, has backed off somewhat in their provocations. We are now faced with the difficult task of deciding what to do during the peace, as our budget has fallen precipitously. Even with the recent scrapping of the bulk of the Durandals, we are still faced with the need for further mothballing and probably suspension of some or all of the build program. We can also look at cutting back our aviation activities.

A particular issue is the fate of the capital ship program. Our accountants suggest that we cannot keep all four vessels currently building under construction without truly drastic cutbacks elsewhere. We could suspend one of the Nancys for a while and hope our budget recovers, suspend a Saint Louis, or even cancel Charlemagne entirely. The cost of keeping her suspended until the Nancys commission will be approximately half of what we have already invested in her construction, and we will presumably be able to lay down another new vessel at the same time, which will be able to take advantage of the technologies developed in the intervening months. However, if the budget recovers more quickly, we will be able to take advantage of our existing investment, and we have a very healthy funding balance which opens up the option of deficit spending, particularly when the lighter units currently under construction commission.

Our current fleet

Ships under construction

November 1915

Widespread demonstrations are reported in Italy! Our subs sink 2 merchants, while their subs sink 1. Their raiders, however, get 6. Germany lays down 5 DD, 2 KE; Italy 1 AMC, Japan 1 BB. Italy commissions 4 KE. 210 VP for blockade of the enemy.

We launch a major raid on Italian coastal shipping near Genoa, led by the three Jeanne d'Arc class CAs. Airplanes from the CAs and Saint Florent quickly locate a number of ships, and an Italian cruiser task force is swiftly encountered. They turn for home, outrunning our relatively slow CAs, but a merchant ship is overtaken and sunk. CA Dupleix strikes a mine, and has to turn for home, arriving badly damaged and barely afloat. A destroyer is encountered, but evades in the darkness, sinking later on. Enemy minor victory, 308 VP to 609.

December 1915

More demonstrations in Italy. DD Cimterre commissions. Our subs sink 1 merchant and lose one of their number, while their subs bag 3 and their raiders 2.

Italy declines to defend a convoy near Sicily, giving us 4805 VP, as well as a cruiser action off the Italian boot, for another 675 VP.

January 1916

Construction of our airbase in Tunisia finishes. Breakthrough: Above water tubes on CLs. Our subs sink 3 enemy merchants, while we suffer no losses. Germany lays down 1 KE, Japan 1 BB, US 3 DD. Italy commissions 1 KE, 1 BC, Germany 1 KE. 220 VP for blockade.

CL Surcof encounters an Italian raider off Congo, eventually pounding the enemy CL into rubble after a long battle thanks to superior gunnery. Her accuracy was three times that of the Italian ship. Major victory, 692 VP for us, 226 for them.

February 1916

We commission 2 SSC. A peace is concluded, with exceptionally favorable terms and a large war indemnity. Breakthrough: Concentration firing. Dewoitine develops an improved version of the D.41 flying boat, with significantly improved speed and range. Japan lays down a BB, Italy commissions a BC, Germany a KE, the US a BB. The remaining unmodernized Durandals are immediately ordered scrapped.


  1. December 07, 2019DuskStar said...

    What's the difference between the Nancy and San Louis classes? Same speed, same primary armament, 1000 tons displacement difference...

    More armor on the San Louis, more secondaries on the Nancys?

  2. December 07, 2019bean said...

    Saint Louis traded 4 secondaries and an extra 1000 tons for more armor and an improved TDS, which should keep it more or less operational after a single torpedo hit. (The current TDS will keep it afloat, but you don't want those ships sticking around in combat.)

  3. December 07, 2019DuskStar said...

    Sounds like a good trade then, particularly if it makes the AI use them properly. Death to Italy!

  4. December 07, 2019Alexander said...

    BZ Coulomb! It sounds like even refusing battle by remaining in port won't keep their ships safe from our submariners. Clearly a real crew of hard chargers.

    On that note, what stops us from shelling them to pieces while they are alongside? Their shore batteries should be vastly outranged by our guns, aircraft aren't a threat yet, and so long as we provide suitable minesweepers, asw escorts, and some torpedo boat destroyers as escorts, an operation in daylight shouldn't be excessively risky. Are we holding back to avoid civilian casualties?

  5. December 08, 2019bean said...

    The game won't let us attack them in port. In real life, that sort of attack was horribly risky. They can sow lots and lots of mines, and you need to knock the shore-based defenses down well enough that the minesweepers can do their work. Gallipoli showed how hard that sort of thing is.

  6. December 09, 2019Alexander said...

    Interesting that it allowed the submarine in - I suppose that does have some historical support, whereas the British shelling of the French fleet during Operation Catapult isn't really a fair comparison to what I was proposing, thanks to the sudden end of their alliance. I'm sure you're right about the dangers of such an operation, and I'm probably overestimating the efficiency of minesweepers, and disregarding the disruption shore batteries could cause them, even at long range and under the guns of the battleships.

    Regarding the aircraft, are the aircraft speeds in knots? The LeO 40 is faster and tougher than its successor (and our fighter) which might make me prepared to accept a 25% reduction in range. The Italians and Austrians are building quite the fleet of submarines so anything that could help counter them would be great - seen any proposals for a patrol bomber?

    Budget wise, we might just have enough to start a Saint Louis by the end of the year, but that would leave us virtually no margin in case of unexpected expenditures, or a reduction in funding. Our maintenance budget jumped quite significantly - the Rouens and the last two Cassards cost about as much to run for a couple of years as one of those proposed cruiser killers costs to build. Perhaps have a think about scrapping some of the older ships, e.g. the Friedlands and Tridents.

  7. December 09, 2019bean said...

    I assumed that we don't have their battlefleet perfectly bottled up, and that the sub tagged their BB during a sortie, probably quite close to the coast.

    Speed are indeed in knots, and I tend to favor range and reliability for scouting aircraft over speed. That 25% increase in range is about 50% more area the LeO.48 can survey. Toughness is only important if the aircraft are being shot at, and until carriers enter the picture, the chances of an enemy fleet being able to attack our scouting aircraft are very low. The best ASW plan might be to emphasize research in that area and hope we get extra depth charges soon. We have a bunch of 600-ton DDs which could be modified into escorts quite easily. I don't think we can do much with aircraft yet.

    I'm hesitant to scrap ships while the war is on, but we could look at reserving some of those ships in case we end up in a war with Germany. My big concern is that if we go for a third now, we'll definitely end up in a bad place when the war ends and our budget drops, even with extensive reserving and scrapping. And I expect to see a lot of the later. The Freidlands and the unmodernized Durandals will definitely have to go, and probably some mix of Tridents and Richelieus, too.

  8. December 10, 2019Alexander said...

    If there is no threat to our aircraft then the extra range is much more important than an edge in a fight. I'd support increasing the ASW research priority, and I still feel that AP shells should be a higher priority, that we could take the focus off light forces, and maybe ignore amphibious operations too.

    It's quite a challenge planning construction when a ship might take nearly three years to build, during which time we have no idea whether we'll end up at war with Germany too, or make peace with Italy and lose a third of our budget. It looks like maintenance costs are reduced by a third in peacetime, so in that event we'd probably be looking to save around an extra 7,500 per month (a third of the current construction budget). We'd also want to find about 430 per month to cover the maintenance on the cruisers and destroyers that complete this year.

    Scrapping all the unmodernised Durandals, both Friedlands and both Tridents would save about a grand, so there would be some way to go. Even mothballing all the Richelieus, Dupetit-Thouars and Bruixes as well would only bring it up to a bit over 3,000. I may have made some incorrect assumptions (or errors in arithmetic) here, as well as neglected opportunities for savings, but I think there is a good chance that we'd have to put some construction on hold if our budget was suddenly reduced. Does that imply that we should go for a mix of lighter units, so that we could complete/cancel/pause construction as the budget allows, or just go for a third Saint Louis and accept that it might spend perhaps an extra year incomplete waiting for the Nancys to finish before we can afford to start work again?

  9. December 10, 2019bean said...

    The other spot we can save is submarine construction. They don't cost anything while suspended, so if the war ends before the current crop complete, we'll save an extra 1200/month. I can go either way on that, but the big issue is that I'm not sure the war will last all that long, and suspending ships that were just laid down is always kind of iffy because by the time you get them back into production, tech has moved on.

    The basic plan for the game tomorrow is to just keep plugging away. Italy can't keep this up forever, and we don't have much completing in the next 6 months.

  10. December 11, 2019bean said...

    The war has now ended in February 1916. We're victorious, and tensions worldwide have crashed. But we're going to have to make deep budget cuts, even with sending a lot of ships into reserve.

  11. December 12, 2019BakerEasy said...

    What does our deficit and cash reserve situation look like? We seemed to have a pretty large reserve and I'd guess we can manage a bit of deficit spending for a while.

    Is it time to scrap our preirresistibles? That should save us about 3500/month. Do they have any use left in them?

    And what about replacing our elderly CAs - do we need to do that yet? What can we do on 12,500 tons now?

  12. December 12, 2019bean said...

    Scrapping some of the pre-Irresistible ships isn't a bad idea. The problem is that we have two fronts to cover, and even in a one-front war, leaving the other exposed is probably a bad idea. Saving a few to watch our back wouldn't be a terrible plan.

    We have somewhere north of 50k in the bank, but I doubt we'll be able to get our immediate deficit below -1k even if we mothball one of the building capital ships. That will vanish in a few months, although we probably won't be able to keep working on all four ships full time. We can definitely spend down to something like 20 or 30k, though.

  13. December 12, 2019Alexander said...

    Solferino and the Jeanne d'Arcs were refitted very recently, so I'd prefer to not to scrap (or even mothball) them if we can help it. Having said that, there are quite a few older ships I would be comfortable getting rid of.

    Regarding covering both fronts, if we keep Britain on side we can probably leave enough in the med to keep Italy (and Austria) from coming back for more while sending a small squadron of our best ships to the channel to support the grand fleet.

    I hope the Germans find some other spending priorities, or the balance of forces will get worryingly even. It seems like now is the time for spending our reserves to smooth the drop in budget.

  14. December 13, 2019bean said...

    March 1916 is up.

  15. December 13, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Not sure at what point you get in trouble for insufficient forces, but I think it should be possible to keep our capital ships building if we're aggressive about scrapping, reserving and mothballing.

    I say we scrap the Trident and Friedland classes, plus two Richelieus, and mothball the rest of our Resistibles. Leave one squadron of flying boats each in Northern Europe and the Med, put the rest in reserve. Put all legacy CAs in reserve, if not scrap or mothballs, replacing those on colonial stations with CLs built for that task. Suspend submarine construction. Factor in completion of Bories and d'Estréeses, and I think we reach a point where it's reasonable to just deficit-spend for a bit and see if the budget picks up.

    I'd also advocate that if we need to suspend a capital ship for a short time, we delay the Nancy class--odds are we'll still be at peace when they finish and we won't mind the delay.

  16. December 13, 2019BakerEasy said...

    Oof, that deficit is quite a bit worse than I was expecting. If we can cut it in half, I think our situation will start to improve from there.

    So I'll suggest - scrap all the Bs save Solferino; scrap the Dupetit-Thouars; put Solferino, the Duquesnes (they're getting a bit long in the tooth, too), the Jeanne d'Arcs, and such CLs as we can spare in reserve. That should save us at least 3500/month.

    Within three months our DDs will complete, saving us about 1200/month and in five the CLs will be done, at which point our deficit should be down to a sustainable level, while our budget should be ticking back up. That way we can avoid suspending our new capital ships.

    Fortunately, everyone else's budgets have dropped precipitously as well - we're back ahead of the Germans and we should use this opportunity to steal a march on them.

  17. December 13, 2019DuskStar said...

    The March 1916 post is currently between October and November 1915, which feels unintentional.

  18. December 13, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    @DuskStar The format is an overview of the current situation, followed by month-by-month recap of action since the last overview.

  19. December 13, 2019bean said...

    Submarines are already suspended. Other than that, everything is active. On the D-Ts, they've proven quite useful in this war, and there have even been suggestions that they might be useful aviation vessels going forward.

  20. December 14, 2019Alexander said...

    Congratulations on our victory, and I'm glad to see our budget back to second in the world, even if it leaves us with a worrying deficit. There was a bit of me that wanted to send the new BCs off to Jutland, but on balance peace is the better outcome Ü

    I reckon we can manage to make it to Nantes is complete without pausing any construction or scrapping too much, so long as our budget doesn't fall further. As it stands (assuming I've not miscalculated), we run out of money by the end of 1916, and we need savings of about 2,500 per month to push it out until the middle of 1917, when all should be well again. Scrap the Friedlands and Tridents, send the Richelieus to the reserve, and mothball the Dupetit-Thouars until we can convert them to aviation cruisers. That gets you most of the way there, and there are other ships we could reserve to make up the difference. If the budget does get cut further, I suppose we'll have to pause Nancy.

  21. December 14, 2019bean said...

    I modeled it out, and based on where the game is currently at it looks like we'll have about 10k in the bank when Nantes completes in June of 17 if the budget holds steady. Cuts are unlikely, and if it goes up, things are better.

  22. December 14, 2019Alexander said...

    What did you have to scrap/mothball/reserve to reach that?

  23. December 14, 2019bean said...

    All Bs in reserve, Friedlands, 2 Richlieu, and Tridents mothballed. DTs, all 600-ton DDs, and all the starting game CLs possible in reserve. All land-based airgroups cut in half. Currently at -5703, dropping another ~160 if we start scrapping.

  24. December 14, 2019bean said...

    One other issue is what to do with the Sfaxes. We have one unmodernized vessel, which is due for either conversion or scrapping. The minelayer conversions are becoming increasingly superfluous as we introduce more CLs with mine rails, and the game keeps trying to use them as CLs, which is irritating. I plan to make sure that none of the slow (<24 kt) CLs are in the main theater next time. We can either use them for secondary theaters, convert them to AVs, or scrap them.

  25. December 14, 2019Alexander said...

    We're not paying that much more to rebuild Linois than we are to maintain Jean Bart, so I wouldn't mind converting it too. How many AVs do we want, if we have all these airstrips and flying boat bases? And the D-Ts too?

    Assuming we're not fighting in both the northern Europe and the Med at the same time (and with how sloppy the British have been around Gibraltar that can't be relied upon) there could still be a role for some of those starting cruisers, but I don't think we need to keep the Sfaxes in that role. It's quite frustrating that you can't add colonial facilities (I assume this means spaces for entertaining?) in a refit. With all the savings you've made you might be able to start a couple of CL-15-IVs (suitably updated) when the Destrees are done. I know mothballing does cut most of the cost of maintaining a ship, but I really can't see us dragging all six of those Bs out again, in which case, why not pick a couple to scrap?

  26. December 17, 2019bean said...

    Draft plan for play tomorrow:

    Friedlands and Tridents are to be scrapped, all Richlieus to be mothballed. Jean Bart to enter AV conversion. All legacy cruisers in home waters to be reserved. Currently, no suspensions are planned.


    Colonial facilities means spaces for marines and the like, and I'm very annoyed you can't refit them. The D-Ts are tagged for CVL conversions when we get the tech, although it might be a while. I haven't scrapped the ships in question yet because that's irreversible and I don't make those modifications to game state between play sessions.

  27. December 17, 2019Alexander said...

    I was wondering if we were saving the battleships until they patch in a 'museum conversation' option Ü

    The plan sounds good.

  28. December 17, 2019bean said...

    They actually have that. Sometimes, you'll get an option to save a ship as a museum when you try to scrap it. You pay some fraction of the maintenance costs, but get a morale/training benefit, IIRC. As you'd expect, I always answer yes.

  29. December 18, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Sounds good! Glad to see our construction continue. Now we just need to stir up some trouble on the international stage.

  30. December 19, 2019bean said...

    Play is done. We're still at peace, although we hit break-even budget about 6 months in. There's been a huge wave of scrapping worldwide, and while we continue to suspect the German navy of financial malfeasance, we're doing OK overall.

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